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Article ThumbUp in the Air

You may have seen an air plant hanging in an open-faced glass vase or hanging from a seashell at your local garden center. They are becoming popular. Air plants are easy to grow if you follow a few rules – and easy to kill if you don’t. Air plants may be sold with the hype that they live on nothing but air, but this is not the case.


Article ThumbBeyond Violet

African violets are pushing the envelope when it comes to colors and flower forms. Ruffles, anyone?

When I was a child, I was totally mesmerized by the intense colors of the African violets that seemed to bloom continuously on my grandmother’s windowsills. I would stare in wonder at those jewel-colored blooms surrounded by collars of fuzzy leaves, fully convinced that only experienced gardeners of my grandmother’s reputation could get plants to bloom so gloriously indoors.


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Butterfly Heaven

This Chicago garden attracts an astonishing variety of butterflies thanks to the biodiversity it offers in a neighborhood.


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Up in the Air

There’s a reason why tillandsias are called air plants. Just don’t call them airheads.


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Smell This

How many times have you thrust your nose into a bouquet or a flower and come up empty? Or worse yet, been knocked back by …


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Guns and Roses

It seems that I’m either easily amazed or not fazed at all by new information. If you were to tell me that science ...


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The Dog Dayz

Gardeners perplex me. Actually, I’m perplexed by many things, including gravity and spumoni ice cream and why most Americans ...


questions

I recently moved to Chicago from Houston and I miss fresh picked figs. Is there any way to grow figs in Chicago short of installing a greenhouse? Will sunny windows do? I’m desperate.

Is it possible to plant and grow Italian cypress in the Chicago area? Are our winters too severe for it? If they are, is there an alternative conifer that will provide a similar look?

What causes black spots on my orchid leaves?

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